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Racist symbols lurk in neighborhoods across the U.S. This new app exposes them

Across the country, on pedestals and in front of government buildings, more than 700 monuments to the Confederacy still stand. In the form of statues, museums, parks, and fountains, these monuments celebrate a racist legacy under the guise of Civil War commemoration. Most of these monuments were built in the 1900s and, though recent protests have brought renewed focus to their racist symbology, many of them stand unobtrusively and with little signage or information to explain the history they represent.

To expose the racism and bigotry beneath these monuments—and to encourage people to call for their removal—a new web application and interactive map has just been released. Developed by creative agency 22Squared in partnership with the Atlanta chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the map is called Invisible Hate. It reveals where these hundreds of monuments are located around the country, and provides information about the racist history of what they commemorate.

“The evil genius of these monuments is that they have successfully normalized racism,” says Richard Rose, president of the NAACP Atlanta chapter. A self-described “NAACP lifer” who attended his first protest at age 13, Rose says what’s most shocking about these monuments is that many are located on public property and maintained with tax dollars. “They actually teach bigotry, they teach hate, and because they’re on government property, the government endorses it,” Rose says.

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